Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bike all set?

I picked up the bike from the shop this afternoon. They put on the fenders and the racks. I'm not too happy with the front rack: it's supposed to be a low-rider (an Axiom Journey), but it sits awfully high. They screwed it on to the brazon, but apparently there's a lower fastening necessary for the racks to not swing around: that, it turns out, was not big enough to go around my fork. They had to jury-rig something (which is why I had to leave the bike overnight) and it doesn't look too pretty. The rack also interferes with sharp turns; luckily, those only happen when I carry my bike, not when I'm riding. I wonder if my frame cross section really is inordinately big, though that would be surprising for such a classic touring bike as the 520. What's interesting is that the bell I had on my old bike won't go onto my new handlebars: they're too large! Some good is definitely coming out of the front racks, though. On top of the horizontal metal bar they used to stabilize the two racks together, I set up a little platform for my front light using parts I bought at the hardware store. Now the light does not take up valuable handlebar space, it is centered along the axis of the bike, and, most importantly, it is not blocked by my handlebar bag. Surely I win points for practicality, if not aesthetics... Overall, I'm pleased with my experience at International Bicycle Centers, but this front rack issue makes me very uneasy. I think maybe they ordered the wrong rack for my bike. They should have known better. We'll see how it pans out.
UPDATE
Ahh, I Googled the racks. This is what they are supposed to look like. Looks like the bike store screwed it up. They put on the top brazon what should go on the bottom brazon, jury-rigged a support on the bottom of the rack (which now lies above the bottom brazon), and put the horizontal metal strip on top. Oh, and they switched they left and right sides to boot! I wonder why the did that. They said something about the fork being too wide, but all I can see is that there is only one bottom brazon on each side, and that's being used by the fender. Still, it seems that by using a long enough bolt, it should be possible to attach both the fender and the rack to the bottom brazon. If that's the case, it will really make me mad. How dare they pass off their slapdash job as the real deal? I'm going to try doing it properly Monday or Tuesday; maybe I'll be able to understand why they couldn't do it.
NEW UPDATE
Here's the instruction sheet for a rack similar to mine. Not too complicated. Piecing together what they told me, it sounds like the fork was too wide for the metal plates to fit behind the top brazon. But given that I do have a top brazon and the schematic doesn't, why not simply screw the rack onto the brazon?

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